ITV News Central Reporter Wesley Smith interviews Tom Hiddleston about his surprise theatre cameo in Birmingham
So, what was Tom Hiddleston like? I lost count of the times I was asked that question once I got back into the newsroom at ITV News Central and the answer was simple, a delight.
The Golden Globe and Oliver award-winning actor, was at the Birmingham Rep as the surprise guest in, 'The Play What I Wrote' an homage to the legendary comic duo, Morecambe and Wise whose Christmas shows remain a fixture in the TV schedules long after they left us.
The play was co-written 20 years ago by Sean Foley who is now the Birmingham Rep's Artistic Director and a long-standing friend of Tom.
Tom Hiddleston and Sean Foley chat to Wesley Smith at the REP
The original show was directed by Kenneth Branagh. One of the highlights is that there is always a surprise guest who appears part way through.
They have included Joanna Lumley, Daniel Radcliffe, Kylie Minogue and Sir Ian McKellen.
This was Tom's comedic return to the stage, the first time facing a live audience since he was on Broadway in 'Betrayal' just prior to the pandemic.
'It's essentially making a fool out of myself and making a fool out of acting,' Tom Hiddleston says
Speaking about being in Birmingham and specifically at the REP, Tom tells me "this is a legendary, iconic theatre and I grew up knowing about it - some of my favourite actors started their careers here!"
Tom told me he was honoured to be playing at the REP for the first time.
He said, "It's essentially making a fool out of myself and making a fool out of acting."
"It was strangely really difficult to learn because when you're learning stuff you want to make it make sense, but then you realise these lines aren't meant to make sense" he continues, "but it has been a joy from start to finish."
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Tom paid tribute to the main cast members, Dennis Herdman, Thom Tuck and Mitesh Soni.
"When other mystery guests come in they'll have to adapt the show very quickly. Adapt the writing, adapt the jokes and tailor it very specifically to whoever is coming in."
He added: "It feels like a strange honour to have all of these jokes tailored specifically to make fun out of you. It's a great gift!"
During the play there is also a nod to Tom's Marvel Studios epic Avengers series in the show, after all, his character, Loki, is the God of Mischief.